ATLANTA – Coming off an impressive All-Star Break in which the Atlanta Braves saw seven players get picked to participate in the mid-summer classic, the Braves had to face the great Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani. For six innings, the Braves bats were rendered useless as a dominant Ohtani struck out eleven batters and gave up one hit while throwing seventy-one pitches.
However, in the 7th, the Braves batted around, ultimately chasing Ohtani from the game. Ohtani gave up six earned runs, two home runs in one-third of the seventh inning as the Braves beat the Angels 8-1 Friday night at Truist Park.
Matt Olson hit a two-run homer which broke the deadlock and Orlando Arcia’s three-run blast later in the seventh inning ultimately ran Ohtani out of the game.
Meanwhile Braves starter Charlie Morton held his end of the bargain as he pitched six strong innings, giving up two hits, no runs and struck out seven Angels.
“I thought he’s good. I mean, he’s a little hard on himself,” said Braves Manager Brian Snitker as he described Morton’s performance. “I thought about it after I took him out and talked to him. I know he’s doing a lot better than what his assessment was.”
Morton got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth inning which was the only real threat the Angels produced all night long.
“I thought it was okay, especially with the layoff, he is the perfect guy to run out there and he did exactly what we had to do,” said Snitker. “We only took him out so we’re gonna get your run here and get your win. It didn’t happen but a guy like that did exactly what he needed to do was throw up a bunch of zeros.”
Morton was hard on himself after not getting the decision, but he’s working through his issues as a strikeout pitcher.
“But really, the past month and a half I’ve thrown the ball as well as I’d hoped to at least you know, coming off of that pretty rough month and a half to two months that’s preceded it,” said Morton.
Friday’s game was delayed by 55 minutes due to rain and lightning near the stadium before first pitch.
Braves second baseman Robinson Canó exited the game in the second inning due to dizziness. Snitker said Canó was dehydrated, however, he did not want his second baseman facing Ohtani if he was not one hundred percent.